Getting Our Hands Dirty: Chef Adrien with Dirt Farmer's Table
My House Social not only offers clients the ability to completely customize their menus with distinct cuisines and beloved restaurants, but we also create space for local caterers and chefs to bring their masterful menus to events that previously were inaccessible. We’re featuring one of our recent Chef Partners, Adrien Martin of Dirt Farmer’s Table, who creates fantastic dishes with locally sourced ingredients!
What inspired you to start your own business?
It’s really a continuation of what I’ve been doing in New Orleans for a few years. I love creating and cooking and working with others. I’m incessantly thinking about how to use my gifts and my energy, how to create a living out of doing what I love. Starting a business feels like some rendition of that. It’s all an evolution, though.
I’m incessantly thinking about how to use my gifts and my energy, how to create a living out of doing what I love.
What were you doing before starting Dirt Farmer's Table?
Like most of us in New Orleans, I’ve been perfecting, stumbling, and moving through the art of the side hustle. Sometimes event planning, event assisting, and cooking — all while still trying to nail down the balance of work, life, and spending time with people I love. It’s a moving target, but I continue to find grounding in food. It’s a lens for me. I see it as my future, and way to live a healthy and satisfying life, as a way to support community, to make community and to live in community. As a way of connecting to this Earth.
Before New Orleans, there was New York. I ran an incredible and tiny restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side called Sfoglia. It’s where first understood that a dish rests on its components, its ingredients. The food was rustic Italian, and I was not cooking yet. I was observing and getting to play in the kitchen when they’d let me. It was the first time I’d managed people. It was hospitality trial-by-fire. The hours were long, the lessons were many, but felt proud of the food we were making and our service. I spent time with so many people at the top of their games. Which is why I often have such a hard time saying I am a chef (it still makes me cringe, actually). I have no training. It’s been a process and one that has really been driven by a knowingness that ingredients and getting to connect with the people responsible for growing them is what continues to light me up and bring me joy.
What's your favorite menu item to make?
Galettes (Levee Baking & Co., thank you for teaching me the ways). I learned how to make one dough, and I can’t be stopped. They are so versatile - sweet savory and with any veggie or fruit I find. And it’s good for any time of day.
What was the last thing that you ate that you really liked?
Pizza. The answer is always pizza. Last pizza I had was Echo’s - I always get the arugula, preserved lemon pizza - add lamb sausage (you’re welcome).
What's your favorite snack?
Dates with Peanut Butter & Sea Salt - late night, I want something sweet, and it satisfies.
Do you have any new items you're working on?
A garden. It feels like a natural progression for me. My love of food and cooking starts with ingredients, so maybe it’s a good idea to know something about the process of growing them. Plus I am sure it will teach me a thing or two about failure and humility along with furthering my appreciation of those who farm for their livelihoods.
If you mean what I’m working on in the kitchen, I’m beginning to experiment with fermentation and pickling. And baking – I’m trying to soften my intimidation in this realm. It’s fun.
What are driving values behind Dirt Farmer’s Table?
What I make is inspired by what’s growing at any given time, and by supporting farmers. I like creating for more intimate gatherings, the attention to detail that comes with that, and the relationship that kind of attentiveness creates with a client. My formula for anything is determined by the season. Everything after that is translating that into client vision.
I like creating for more intimate gatherings, the attention to detail that comes with that, and the relationship that kind of attentiveness creates with a client.
Do you have any advice for entrepreneurial woman out there?
Ask for help when you don’t know. You don’t have to know. You just have to know the right people to ask. And if you don’t know the right people, ask someone who might. Creating structure is difficult for me. My skills and interests are really on the creative side, so I need others for logistics. I need to remind myself that I do not need to figure everything out alone, and that have an incredible number of resources to help me work through processes that I may not be as skilled at. I have to continue to set down the idea that I’m supposed to know how to do all of this. Then I get to work with other people, and that is rewarding.